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Sri Lankan FM urges donors to pressure Tamil rebels

May 18 (AFP) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera called on donor countries to raise pressure on the Tamil Tigers to resume talks and to curb the rebels' fund-raising overseas. Samaraweera was in Tokyo ahead of a May 30 meeting here of Sri Lanka's key financial backers, which comes as killings mount on the island despite a four-year-old ceasefire. more..

TNA candidate, companion shot dead in Batticaloa

May 18 (TN) Unidentified gunmen shot dead a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) candidate contesting the forthcoming Navithanveli Predeshya Saba polls, and his companion riding with him in a motorbike on the Kalmunai Central Camp Road, Thursday noon around 1.30 p.m, said sources in Kalmunai. more..

Western governments unhappy with Sri Lanka too

May 18 (IANS) Western players in Sri Lanka's peace process are attacking the Tamil Tigers publicly but are also unhappy with the island's government. The US, the 25-nation European Union, Japan and Norway that remain committed to a negotiated solution to the dragging ethnic conflict feel that the situation in Sri Lanka is extremely volatile. more..

EU ban on Tamil Tiger rebels may result in all-out war, rebel official says

May 18 (AP) Sri Lanka risks being propelled back into civil war if the European Union declares the Tamil Tiger rebel group a terrorist organization, a top guerrilla leader warned Thursday. A fragile 2002 cease-fire in this island nation between the government and the LTTE has already been rocked by an upsurge in violence that has killed at least 271 people since April, more..

Bishop tells of gun rule on streets of Sri Lanka

May 19 (LT) A YORKSHIRE Bishop has told how he travelled through roadblocks and saw guns on the streets of trouble-torn Sri Lanka during a visit with his wife. The Anglican Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Rt Rev John Packer, took part in a mission to Sri Lanka – a country riven by fighting between independence-seeking Tamil Tigers and its government. more..

Sri Lanka to capture, retrain unruly elephants to work on conservation program

May 19 (AP) Some of Sri Lanka's wildest, most destructive elephants will be getting a reprieve despite their bad behavior - but they'll have to spend some time in rehab first. Elephants that rampage through villages, destroy crops or killing people will be caught, tamed and put to work in the conservation department, an official said Thursday. more..

India steps up coastline surveillance

May 19 (BBC) Following the increase in violence between Sri Lankan government forces and the LTTE in Sri Lanka, India had stepped up its surveillance measures both by sea and by air along the coastline between India and Sri Lanka. "We have enhanced our state of readiness and we are watching the situation very carefully", Chief of the Indian Naval staff Admiral Arun Prakash said. more..

Humanitarian Situation Report - Sri Lanka: 11 - 17 May 2006

May 19 (RW) A revised Tsunami Housing Policy prepared by the Reconstruction and Development Agency (RADA) in consultation with key stakeholders has been circulated and supersedes all previous circulars in this regard. RADA is to monitor the implementation of each Tsunami Housing Project and report progress to the President of Sri Lanka. more..

"Govt owned plantation institutions are running at a loss" – Plantation Minister

May 19 (AT) Government owned Janatha Estates Development Board [JEDB] and the State Plantations Corporation [SLSPC] would not be privatized according to President’s vision. Both plantations are now managed with big losses, said Plantation Minister Milroy Fernando who still continuously discussing with the treasury officials to obtain funds to run both institutions. more..

Treasury and CEB owes Petroleum Corporation billions of rupees

May 19 (AT) The Sri Lankan Treasury currently owes the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) approximately Rs. 8 billion in subsidies for the first quarter of this year, the Corporation's Chairman Jaliya Medagama told the Asian Tribune. He also said that the Treasury has already paid the CPC Rs. 26 billion in subsidies for the year 2005. more..

President cautiones staff against going to five star hotels

May 19 (AT) In what appeared to be a bizarre request, President Mahinda Rajapakse has requested his staff to limit the number of visits they make to five star hotels in Colombo to have their meals. The Asian Tribune reliably learns that the request was made after the President received information that several of his staff working for him had gone to a popular five star hotel in Colombo to enjoy lavish Chinese meal for a striking sum. more..

US State Department’s Don Camp and Ambassador Lunstead advocate Opposing views on military solution to Sri Lanka crisis

May 19 (AT) If the current conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE escalates into a full-scale military conflict, the United States, a Co-Chair of the Tokyo Donors and the principal player of this Indian Ocean island nation’s crisis, is not in one voice as to what action it should take. more..

LTTE retreating under anti-terror laws in UK

May 19 (AT) Faced with mounting pressures after the LTTE was banned in UK under the Terrorism Act 2001 the Tiger agents have changed the name boards of their front organisations. The new front organisations are facing an uphill task to win the support of the Tamil diaspora in UK. Immediately after the proscription, the LTTE’s UK arm, United Tamil Organisation, disbanded. In its place the Tiger agents formed British Tamil Association. more..

PAFFREL criticize substitution of candidates in the Local Govt elections

May 19 (AT) Regarding tomorrows local Government elections People's Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) in a press release has highlighted the latest characteristics adopted by political parties participating in the local Government elections to be held tomorrow where they tries to substitute the names of other persons in place of other candidates in the contest and more..

Tharanga thumps timely ton

May 19 (CI) The weather forecast for the first day at Hove was rotten and yet, much like the Sri Lankans' second innings at Lord's, expectations were defied and things turned out quite beautifully. Upul Tharanga's impressive form continued with a powerful, well-timed hundred, while Mahela Jayawardene pitched in a delightful cameo of 45 not out late on. more..

A war of diminishing returns

May 19 (Hindu) ON MAY 11, 2006, on the eve of Vesak day (Buddha Purnima), the biggest festival day of the nation, Sri Lanka escaped a terrible ethnic flare up. Only the day before, a Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) troopship mv Pearl Cruise, carrying 710 military men and moving in a naval convoy off Point Pedro on the Jaffna coast, escaped destruction when boats of the Sea Tigers, the naval arm of the LTTE, surrounded it. more..

Some myths & realities of Sri Lanka’s conflict

May 19 (AT) Sri Lanka has not had as extensive media coverage and so thick a stream of important visitors as it has in recent months and weeks. One hopes all parties concerned noted Mr. Donald Camp's remarks. The word from Washington was twofold. Mr Camp was unambiguously condemnatory of the LTTE, making a major conceptual distinction between Colombo and Kilinochchi, more..

LTTE light aircraft seen in the air- Military intelligence

May 19 (AT) A light aircraft of the LTTE was in the air in Iranamadu last evening, military intelligence has been informed. "There are sources confirming that a light aircraft had been seen over Wanni for 30 minutes," an intelligence source told the Asian Tribune. However the radars of the Air Force had not intercepted the aircraft, according to military sources, more..

Mangala Mission to Delhi ends in failure

May 19 (TW) The important three day visit undertaken to New Delhi by Sri Lankan foreign affairs minister Mangala Samaraweera from May 8th to 10th has failed to produce any worthwhile results from a Colombo perspective it is learnt. Samaraweera in a hectic schedule of eighteen meetings interacted with important Indian leaders and officials including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, more..

Diplomats in Colombo worry over Prabha message to Mahinda

May 19 (TW) Diplomatic circles in Colombo have expressed concern about the brief message sent by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabakharan to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse through Japanese special peace envoy to Sri Lanka Yasushi Akashi. more..

Polls Chief's adopts double standard -Attanayake

May 19 (LeN) The Elections Commissioner has adopted double standard, the Assistant General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake alleged and questioned as to why he made a sudden statement when the government has accepted defeat in the wake of UNP's support for the Independent group. more..

New power supply line at a cost of 2.75 billion rupees to Kilinochchi

May 19 (LeN) The government has decided to erect a new power supply line from Kilinochchi to Jaffna at a cost of 2750 million rupees. A proposal to this effect was presented by Power and Energy Minister W.D.J.Seneviratne was ratified at the last cabinet meeting, Media Minister Anura Ppriyadarshana Yapa said at today's cabinet press briefing. more..

Different strokes for different blokes

May 19 (LeN) Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva today decided to take up for hearing the appeals made to the President by persons arrested in connection with violations of Immigration and Emigration Act as fundamental rights petitions. 197 persons who are being detained under the Immigration and Emigration Act forwarded appeals to the President through Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle requesting relief from the courts and more..

US grants US$1 million to maintain Sri Lanka's tsunami shelters

May 19 (AP) The United States will donate US$1 million (780,000) to help upgrade temporary shelters for about 20,000 Sri Lankan victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the U.S Embassy said Thursday. "A US$1 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development will help pay for a comprehensive care and maintenance program to more..

EU Calls for freeze on LTTE assets in 25 countries

May 19 (TW) The European Parliament with 700 Members has in a unanimous resolution recommended a total freeze on LTTE assets in all its Member States. The resolution while reiterating its earlier decision of imposing a travel ban also stated that it was actively considering the formal listing of the LTTE as a terrorist organisation in the EU. more..

Jaffna GA, NGOs unable to guarantee safety to Allaipiddy refugees

May 19 (TN) Meeting between Jaffna Government Agent (GA), representatives of the non-Governmental Orgnizations, and Allaipiddy refugees Thursday afternoon around 3 p.m at the Allaipiddy St. Philips church, ended inconclusively with the GA and NGOs unable to provide guarantees of safety to the Allaipiddy displaced, sources said. more..

LTTE Violence Claims Lives Of Officer & Corporal

May 19 (SLA) LTTE TERRORISTS, taking cover behind their Forward Defence Line (FDL) in un-cleared areas of MARUTHAMADU, ARIYAKIRITTAKULAM area in OMANTHAI, VAVUNIYA, Friday (19) morning. directed fire towards the FDL of own troops, killing one officer and a soldier. The latest attack came in the wake of a string of LTTE attacks on Army FDLs, Sentry Points and Detachments in the past couple of days. more..

Colombo stocks perk on European Union ban on LTTE

May 19 (LBO) Sri Lankan shares crept up few ticks Friday as investors reacted cautiously over a European Union decision to blacklist the Tamil Tigers, brokers said. The European Union agreed in principle to put the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam or LTTE on its list of terrorist organizations, AFP reported. more..


May 19 (GN) Proposal to mitigate the Human-Elephant Conflict: The Cabinet has granted approval to a proposal by the Hon. Minister of Environment Maithripala Sirisena to mitigate the Human-Elephant Conflict. The Minister said in his note that wild elephants continually lose their habitat for various reasons. more..

Govt strengthens HRC

May 19 (GN) The Ministry of Disaster Management and Human rights will take steps to strengthen the Human Rights Commission (HRC) to which President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed five new Commissioners yesterday, said Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. The HRC had experienced a drawback and has not functioned properly at a needful hour. more..

Anuradhapura chaos in fear of Tiger attack on schools

May 19 (LT) Security has been tightened since this morning in the town of Anuradhapura due to a threat over the phone to attack a school in the area. An unknown person has said over the phone that an attack will be launched this afternoon on a leading school in the town. more..

UNP will support to resolve the problem with international mediation

May 19 (LT) His party will extend support to resolve the Northern problem in an attempt with international assistance, said UNP Ranil Wickramasinghe. He made this statement on his return to the island this morning after a tour in the United States. He pointed out that it was due to the signing of Ceasefire Agreement by him that we got international assistance. more..

More anti-LTTE dissident factions emerging, says Sri Lanka to US

May 19 (AT) The U.S. Department of State was told that Sri Lanka government has credible information that there are more dissident groups, like the Karuna group, are emerging within the ranks of the LTTE and the Tamil diaspora, and every time such dissident groups emerge the separatist Tamil Tigers cannot expect the government to neutralize them on its behalf. more..

Central Bank attempts to cover up deepening economic contradictions

May 19 (wsws) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka Annual Report 2005 issued on May 1 painted a rosy picture of the country’s economy and government policies. It emphasised that the growth rate of 6 percent last year had “exceeded expectations” and backed government forecasts of even higher growth rates for 2006 and beyond. more..

Hunger Highest in N&E

May 19 (LeN) The United Nations World Food Programme yesterday called for global support to fight hunger in Sri Lanka saying it is a major problem faced by the country and the world as a whole. WFP Country Representative Jeff Taft Dick told a news conference that hunger was one of the major problems faced by many countries in the world and it was very much visible in Sri Lanka especially in the North and East where it is 7% higher than the rest of the country. more..

SLMM submits new proposals for sea monitoring

May 19 (PIS) The Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) yesterday said it had received a new set of proposals from the SLMM for resuming naval monitoring. "The proposals are under consideration," SCOPP Deputy Chief Kethesh Loganathan said, declining to elaborate. According to SCOPP, the SLMM had forwarded its proposals both to the Government and the LTTE. more..

Tamil Tigers Warn Against Possible EU Ban

May 19 (IPS) Reports that the European Union plans to proscribe the LTTE have been met with defiance by rebel leaders and a warning that such a move could negatively impact the already weakened peace process. LTTE's chief negotiator Anton Balasingham told the LTTE website on Thursday that Sinhalese hardliners were "urgently seeking the international isolation of the LTTE as a prelude to taking up the military option in earnest". more..

Teachers call off boycott of A/L duties

May 19 (LNP) The Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) has withdrawn its decision to boycott the forthcoming GCE Advanced Level Examination duties and answer script marking. `We have decided not to boycott the activities connected with the examination because Education Minister Susil Premjayantha has agreed to our demands at a discussion held between Ministry officials and us recently,` more..

One third of Colombo 7 houses mosquito breeding places

May 19 (LNP) One out of three houses in Cinnamon Gardens and every one out of eight in Kollupitiya were found to have mosquito breeding places which facilitated the spread of deadly diseases like dengue, Colombo Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam told the Daily News yesterday. more..

Rohan wins 400m, Susanthika placed second

May 19 (LNP) Susanthika Jayasinghe`s re entry into the international track after a lapse of two years ended in sheer disappointment as the Sydney Olympic Games bronze medallist was pushed into the second place in the first leg of the Asian Grand Prix Series meet worked off at the National Stadium in Bangkok here Thursday. more..

UNP scoffs at govt's economic claims

May 19 (SAMN) The UNP on Thursday scoffed at the government’s claim of a 5.5 percent economic growth last year saying in reality there had been a downward trend in most economic sectors compared to the previous UNP regime. Former Deputy Finance Minister Bandula Gunawardane told a news conference that the country recorded a growth of 6.6 percent in 2003 during the UNP regime, more..

Don’t vote blindly: JVP

May 19 (SAMN) The JVP yesterday urged the public not to waste their vote by voting for political parties who hijack another party’s symbol in their bid to gain control of a council. It agreed with the Elections Commissioner’s position that there was no provision in the Local Authorities Elections Ordinance for a political party to canvass for votes for a party in the name of another political party more..

EU action a welcome development : Govt

May 19 (SAMN) Commenting on the EU's pending blanket ban on the LTTE, the Government yesterday said this was a welcome development and it was time the LTTE realised that there was no way out than through negotiations. "The LTTE has been internationally cornered," Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told the weekly Cabinet briefing adding that the EU ban would hopefully accelerate the peace process. more..

New timetables for schools, offices with time change

May 19 (DN) The Government has taken a decision to change school and office timetables with the re-adjustment of the clock by 30 minutes from April 14. Before the change, the Government took a policy decision to re-adjust school and office timetables. Accordingly, schools will operate from 7.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and offices from 8.30 a.m. to 4.15 p.m., more..

IFJ welcomes LTTE assurances on media freedom

May 19 (TN) The Liberation Tigers were not behind a warning issued to Tamil journalists employed in Sri Lankan state media, Political Head of the Liberation Tigers, Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan, told a group of representatives from media watchdogs, trade unions and organisations from South, this week. more..

Sri Lankan Cinema grasping for breath

May 19 (PTI) While Indian cinema seems to have carved its niche on the global scene, its cousins in South Asia are still struggling to find their feet. The state of Sri Lankan cinema is no different. Lack of finances is a major hindrance for the growth of cinema in the island nation. The menace of movie piracy is further adding to the woes. more..

Officer, soldier killed by Tamil rebels

May 19 (AP) Tamil rebels attacked a frontline army position in northern Sri Lanka Friday, killing an officer and a soldier, the army said, as mounting violence continues to undermine a shaky truce on the divided island nation. The rebels opened fire across the de-facto border in the Maruthamadu area near the town of Vavuniya, killing the two soldiers, the army media unit said. more..

Mangala meets Annan

May 19 (BBC) Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera requested the United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to assist initiatives to get the LTTE to the negotiating table. Minister Samraweera met Secretary General Anan in Tokyo. Ranjith Uyangoada ,Sri Lankas Ambassador to Japan said that the Secretary General was concerned about the problems faced by the civilians due to the current conflict situation in Sri lanka. more..

Sri Lanka: refugee arrivals in India hit 1,000 mark

May 19 (RW) Our field office in Chennai, India reported yesterday that since 12 January when people started fleeing the deteriorating security situation in Sri Lanka, over 1,000 persons have arrived in Tamil Nadu, southern India - the vast majority by boat. Yesterday, 102 persons arrived, the largest number in a single day since the outflow began, bringing to a total 1,019 refugees who have fled Sri Lanka this year. more..

EU agrees in principle to ban Sri Lankan rebels

May 19 (AFP) The European Union has agreed in principle to blacklist Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels as a "terrorist" group, EU diplomats said, in a move the rebels said would only lead to war in the country. A formal decision on the blacklisting "could come extremely quickly", perhaps as early next week, one EU diplomat said in Brussels. Another said it would come "before June". more..